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Minnesota Spending Cap Amendment (2012)

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A Minnesota Spending Cap Amendment did not make the November 2012 ballot in Minnesota as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure was proposed in two distinct bills. One of these bills, SF 1378, limited the state to spending 98% of projected revenues with any surplus revenues going into a rainy day fund or tax reductions. Additional expenditures for the "health, safety, or welfare of the citizens" may be approved by a three-fifths supermajority.[1] In the second bill, SF 1364, spending was limited to the revenues received in the last biennial budget. Additional spending would only be permitted for "public peace, safety, or health" during a declared emergency.[2] Both bills were introduced by Senator Julianne Ortman (R).[3][4]

Text of measure

SF 1378

The ballot language of the measure would have read as follows:[1]

Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to include spending restrictions that limit state government spending to 98 percent of revenues forecast to be received by the state in the biennial budget period, and any additional expenditures may only be made by a three-fifths vote of the legislature to provide for emergencies involving the health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of Minnesota, and when budget reserves exceed five percent of revenues, excess revenues must be used to provide tax reductions?

  • YES
  • NO

SF 1364

The ballot language of the measure would have read as follows:[2]

Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require that state government expenditures for all funds be limited to the amount of actual revenues received by the state in the previous two-year budget period and any additional expenditures may only be made to provide for the public peace, safety, or health as a result of a declared national security or peacetime emergency?

  • YES
  • NO

Constitutional changes

The proposed amendments would have added a section to Article XI of the Minnesota Constitution.[1][2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Minnesota Constitution

In order to refer proposed amendments to the ballot they must be agreed on by a majority of the members of each chamber of the Minnesota State Legislature. The 2012 legislative session ended before the measure was passed on to the ballot.

See also

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